A right-wing anti-immigration group in Norway has been widely mocked after mistaking a photograph of empty bus seats for Muslim women wearing the niqab.
The image which was shared on a private Facebook group “Fedrelandet viktigst” (Fatherland first) initiated a debate among its members after it appeared to show the bus seats occupied by women wearing the niqab.
However, Johan Slattavik – the man who shared the picture – with the caption, “What do people think of this?”, claimed it was just “a little practical joke” to see people’s reactions, and was in fact, an image of a bus carriage.
Speaking to WorldViews, Mr Slattavik stated the incident gave him a “good laugh”.
He said: “I laid out the photo to see what happened,” he said, adding that he was shocked so many people fell for it.”
The incident comes after Norway’s right-wing government proposed a burqa ban earlier this year.
In recent years, the niqab and the burqa (full face veil) has become an area of contention for European governments in light of integration, freedom of religion and “extremism”.
France was the first country to impose a nationwide burqa ban in April 2011.
Bulgaria and Belgium soon followed, with regional or partial bans now in place in Switzerland, Denmark, Spain and Italy.
The Dutch, Austrian and German parliaments have voted in support of a partial niqab ban, but no legislation has come into force yet.
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